MOScout Daily Update: Eslinger in Senate 33 - More Trump Talk - Local Taxes Debate - Justice Touts Donors and more...

Eslinger in Senate 33

Word is that Rep. Karen Eslinger has decided to jump into the Senate 33 race (Cunningham termed).  Her entry creates a three-way primary with Rep. Robert Ross and former Rep. Van Kelly.

What It Means

·         One observer sees it as “bad news for Van Kelly.  She represents a lot of his old state rep districts (he was a rep during redistricting).”

·         And, it’s a possible net positive for school reformers in the House as Eslinger, a career educator, was rarely on their side.


Next Session: Local Taxes

Springfield News-Leader reports that “Rep. Craig Fishel, R-Springfield, said he plans to carry a bill next session granting state authorization for the City Council to ask voters to raise the local lodging tax… Fishel said getting in touch with those senators, some of whom are part of the chamber’s Conservative Caucus, would be his top priority in the next session, which kicks off in January.”

What It Means

·         This is a potential flashpoint in the Senate where the Conservative Caucus has shown increasing resistance to the rise in local taxes.

·         Other senators see such enabling legislation as “local control” and bristle that Jefferson City would usurp the ability of local governments to fund operations they deem necessary.

·         There is a middle ground in this debate.  The Conservative Caucus has proposed systemic reforms.  A sales tax cap even well above the current taxing rates would meet their demand.  Another idea is requiring local tax questions to be decided at high participation election dates.

·         Also – don’t discount the importance of personalities in the Senate.  This legislation was carried by Sen. Lincoln Hough last session.  He and the Conservative Caucus warred on a number of fronts.  If they engaged in some rapprochement, it could ease matters.


Trump, Trump, Trump

As the impeachment inquiry suddenly seems to have sprung a few new lines of investigation, its impact is becoming less predictable.

·         One MOScouter reminds me that there can be “tipping points” in these things.  As much as sides seem calcified, the accumulation of revelations can lead to a sudden swing in sentiment.

·         One Dem says that here in Missouri “the ballgame is suburban persuasion, rural turnout for Rs, and city turnout for Ds.”  That’s Trump, Trump, Trump.  Urban voters will turnout to beat Trump, while rural voters will turnout to keep him.  Candidates in both places will use Trump as a caricature to demonstrate their place on the ideological spectrum.

·         Meanwhile, there is an increasing risk to Republicans that Trump fatigue moves suburban voters toward Democratic control.   Trump’s controversy-loving heart has distracted from the usual household issues of healthcare, crime and education.

·         This is all “something Parson cannot control.”


Republicans think this helps them, especially in the House 99 special election coming up.  Special elections are about getting your base to the polls. We had a big ‘enthusiasm gap’ going into it.


Justice Touts Grassroots

In Senate 25, Eddy Justice announced it received its 250th campaign donation.  The press release: “The volume of donors we have, sending $5 or $20 at a time, is making a huge impact on the momentum we have in this campaign,” said Justice. “While some politicians rely on bank loans and other liabilities to PACs or specially interests, I’m pleased to have the support from the people that truly matter – the voters of Southeast Missouri.”

Earlier this year, Justice announced his campaign to replace a term-limited Sen. Doug Libla. Since that time, Justice also announced his grassroots team of Republican Central Committee Chairs, farmers and business owners supporting his campaign in the district.

Justice has received donations from donors representing every county in the district. To date, Justice’s campaign has raised $125,898….


On the Move

·         Former Rep. Jay Swearingen formed a new company, Swearingen ACA LLC.  He’s apparently running an American Club Association location in North Kansas City.  See it here.

·         Melissa Boyd, previously a lobbyist with Cerner, is now Community Strategist with Netsmart.

·         Sharon Geuea Jones, deputy director of MATA, is hanging out a shingle for Jones Advocacy Group.


Hawley’s Finish Line

Among the many last-minute email blasts before the quarter ends was US Senator Josh Hawley’s plead… “Please, help us over the finish line by donating right now…”

Hawley is up for re-election in 2024…


eMailbag: Sifton in CD-2

I hope Sifton knows he will have to embrace Impeachment and Medicare for All just to avoid a primary….


New Committees

Karen Best formed a candidate committee (Best Friends For Missouri) to run for House 156 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Rep. Jeffery Justus, is termed.


New IPs

Deirdre Hirner filed an initiative petition to expand marijuana use.  See it here.


$5K+ Contributions

Uniting Missoui PAC - $7,350 from Belle Hart Schmidt LLC.

Uniting Missouri PAC - $100,000 from World Wide Technology Holding Co LLC.

Uniting Missouri PAC - $35,000 from Andrew Taylor.

Uniting Missouri PAC - $35,000 from Barbara Tayor.

Megan Green for St. Louis - $7,000 from Megan Green.

Lathrop Gage Consulting Political Action Committee - $65,000 from Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits, LLC.

Uniting Missouri PAC - $10,000 from John Danforth.

MO Insurance Coalition PAC - $25,000 from The Travelers Indemnity Company.

MO Opportunity PAC - $5,001 from Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2665 PAC Fund.

Keep Government Accountable - $10,000 from Thomas McDonnell.

Keep Government Accountable - $7,500 from STL Citizens for Responsible Government.

House Victory Committee - $6,000 from Cigna Holding Company.


Lobbyist Registrations

Rodney Boyd, Kate Casas, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons deleted Deloitte Consulting LLP.



Happy birthdays to Sen. Sandy Crawford, Andy Arnold, Tom Irwin, and Steve Kraske.